A predatory paedophile who sexually abused victims as young as five over a period of 20 years has been jailed for life.
Carson Grimes, 65, groomed his victims with money and food, then drugged them in what they called his “horror house” before abusing them.
The pensioner plied his victims with a powerful sedative, which would render them unconscious before he raped them, Bedfordshire Police said.
Luton Crown Court heard that the drugging alone placed his victims at significant risk of serious harm.
While the majority of his victims were aged between 10 and 14 at the time of their abuse, the youngest was abused when they were just five years old.
Bedfordshire Police launched one of its biggest ever child sexual exploitation (CSE) investigations in 2018 when one of the victims came forward to say he had been groomed and raped by Grimes in the early 1990s.
Personal impact statements from nine victims were read out in court this week, which spoke of the personal toll of the abuse that Grimes’ offending had had on them.
Many spoke of suffering from drug addiction and mental health issues, with many survivors saying they had attempted suicide.
Grimes deliberately targeted youngsters who he felt would not be believed by their families or the authorities if they reported the abuse, Bedfordshire Police said.
Channel 4 featured Grimes on 24 Hours in Police Custody this week, which has prompted a number of people to come forward to say they were also abused by him.
Grimes, of Dumfries Street, Luton, was this week jailed for life for 36 historic serious sexual offences, and must serve a minimum of 22 years.
Following the sentence, detective superintendent Steve Ashdown said: “Carson Grimes is one of the most dangerous, vile and prolific offenders I have seen in my policing career.
“Our investigation established a clear picture of a man who exploited boys and girls entirely for his own sexual gratification, displaying a complete absence of morals and decency.
“I am glad that the judge has imposed such a significant sentence on Grimes today and that he no longer poses a danger to the most vulnerable in our society.”
Detective sergeant Rachael Foy said Grimes had a “God-like complex”, whose “arrogance led him to believe he would not get caught”.
She added: “We can never underestimate the devastating impact of Grimes’ predatory behaviour on his young victims, who have since carried the burden of the terrible harm he inflicted on them well into adulthood.
Natania Loftman, one of the survivors of Grimes’ abuse, said: “We’ve got closure now as a collective. We are a family who has come together through dark times to support each other…
“To any other survivors I say this: you are strong, you can come forward and speak your truth. To open that box might seem hard, and after you open the box it might still be hard. You will have good days and bad days – but just come forward and do it. You can do it.”
Detectives have now urged any sexual abuse victims to come forward to police, regardless of when the abuse happened.
For confidential emotional support, contact The Samaritans at any time by calling 116 123 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Watch the latest videos from Yahoo News UK